tv News Nation MSNBC July 21, 2011 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
communicates to us, what we are going to do, how the fed is going to go about doing it and what is going to be good and which ones are not going to be good. and meanwhile, they are buying more u.s. debt if u.s. investors bow out of of the market. and last week it was ben bernanke saying that a default could be catastrophic, and the senate is debating the cut, cap, balance plan and which would raise the debt ceiling in exchange for deep cuts to the budget via the constitution. >> and will the republicans forge a compromise with us for the good of the country. >> the ball is in the president's court, and it has been there for some time. if we are going to avoid default and prevent a downgrade of our credit rating, and if we are going to create jobs and jump start the economy, i think that he needs to step up. >> and joining me is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host is michael smerconish
who is filling in for chris wallace, and so we are happy to have you in today, and what will it take for push the lawmakers tom coll -- to come up with an agreement, and what is happening now? >> well, it is interesting, because there is a sea change from callers to my program on this. several weeks ago you would have heard people say draw the line in the sand, members of congress and no new taxes, et cetera, et cetera, and those same people today are hearing the news that you have broadcast that they are concerned, and they want there to be compromise. to them, compromise is no longer a dirty word where it had been, but where the gop house leaders, are they hearing them? that remains to be seen. >> i want to play something that chuck todd had to say on the "today" show over what financial street has over main street. let's hear what chuck todd said. well, we don't have it, but the
bottom line is, quote, i have had many gop tell me this that the likelihood, we would have some t.a.r.p. moment where as we saw with the bailout, where eventually the mafshrkets will react to what we are seeing on wall street, and then we will have congress make some type of decision here. >> well, the concern by wall street is one that members of congress will have to pay heed to, but members of wall street that might write checks are not the constituencies that send the folks back every two years, so really, it is going to take a ground swell calling the home offices and saying, plead, be the adults that we hoped that you were when we sent to you washington and make this happen. >> let's bring in msnbc's john harwood who is following this from washington. and john, we heard not long ago that the white house is denying this new york times report that the president and speaker boehner were close to a deal. what are you hearing? >> well, jay carney at the podium was trying to promote
flexibility and maneuvering room for all parties involved. it is correct that president obama and speaker boehner are close to what they would agree on for a deal to be done, but that is not the most important thing. the most important thing is for john boehner to find enough republicans to go with him to get a majority. it is all about counting votes in the house now, and the senate democratic leadership is confident they are able to get the mcconnell/reid plan through the senate, and probably early next week and send it over to the house, and the question is what conditions get attached to it and fit into the equation of 218 votes and the gang of six proposal will help with that and that is what the time's story is explaining that the elements of the gang of six proposal is and how that would help, but more of the agreement between president obama and john boehner is between john boehner and the
republicans. >> and john, why are we seeing a downturn and certainly not with wall street and the markets. they are up right now as we watch what is happening, but why aren't we seeing a reaction at least now? >> i think that so far, still, wall street looked at the situation as one where the damsel is tied to the railroad tracks and the locomotive is coming, but at the last minute the politicians will stand up and stop the locomotive and that is the likeliest scenario, too, i believe. and the white house is saying that we know it will be worked out and a lot of the key republican leaders are saying and mitch mcconnell signaled by offering the plan that we agree that is the bottom line. so there is a lot of negotiations and more drama ahead, and we will see whether that last-minute rescue which we have seen in past legislative issues and past debt situations will play out again. >> and the other line is the grover norquist, and many refer to him as the post powerful
lobbyist in washington, and he has the republicans to sign on to the pledge tot no raise taxes, and there is an article that he considers the bush era tax cuts to say it is not raising taxes, and he said that is wrong. let me play what he said to our own chris jansing this morning about the influence of his on the tax debate. let's listen. >> the answer is that the people have made this commitment not to raise taxes have made it clear that they are not raising taxes and boehner and the other republicans have said that independent of the pledge. i mean, there are certain things that you could do technically and not violate the pledge, but that the general public would clearly understand that it is a tax increase. so to be clear, americans for tax reform would oppose any effort to weakenb, reduce or not continue the 2001-2003 bush tax cuts. >> and with people like this having influence over speaker boehner. >> unelected. >> unelected. and this is what is a part of the gridlock. >> right. he is giving -- and it is true. he is giving a green light to
the gop members of the house to say, you can go home with my blessing having voted for this and stand in front of your constituents and claim not to have raised taxes. i think that those pledges have all gotten out of control and you see how they came back to bite michele bachmann and rick santorum because of the conservative pledge they signed in iowa and hopefully a lot of lessons to be learned in this. >> you will guest hosting on "hardball" wand "and we will b watching. and it is called hell on earth. millions off americans are trapped under the heat dome, and it is right over the middle of the nation and spreading east. so far, 22 deaths have been blamed on the scorching temperatures. right now, there are 31 states under heat advisories and that dome is expected to rise
impacting the east coast over the weekend where people will likely not see any relief. >> extreme and intense. it is like literally hell on earth. >> it is a lot better than a blizzard, but it is still not good. >> really, really hot. >> very, very hot. >> and meteorologist carl parker is monitoring the heat from the weather channel headquarters in atlanta, and as i pointed out, carl, the east coast will be affected this weekend. >> yes, and it is sweat that your body uses to cool itself off, and when there is moisture in the atmosphere, it does not work well. so right now it feels like 109 in chicago, and 11 1 in detroit and 110 in dfrmt krmt a.c. and e a couple of days more of this, and here is the ridge of pressure over the middle of the country which is not going anywhere soon. it has expanded eastward. 99 in new york, and 101 in
raleigh tomorrow, and we find more of that into saturday and cooler just across the northern tier and there is the heat in the southern plains, and this is driven by the drought by the way and why it is stubborn and not going to go anywhere. as we look at the northeast, hot going into the weekend and again cooler air will drop down through the lakes and make its way into the northeast and by the beginning of next week, we will drop into the 80s in new york city and 70s in boston and a nice break from the heat there. i want to talk to you about some of the temperatures that we have seen here in the middle of the country in san angelo, 54 days of 100-plus, and the average is 15. so we are way, way above average across parts of the southern plains. tamron. >> thank you, carl, very much. an amazing era of space exploration came to a picture-perfect closure today at the space station in kennedy.
>> a ship like no other and its place secured in history and the space shuttle pulls into port for the last time. >> after nearly 13 days in space, the final shuttle came to a smooth landing this morning. "atlantis" was the last shuttle to travel to space and it will rest in a museum at cape canaveral. and a mn who covered every space mission is our friend nbc's jay barbree, and we talked about this a lot when i was there for the launch, and people want to know what is next? what is the focus for nasa as we move ahead? >> well, tamron, we wish you would have been with us today. it was a perfect landing and everybody here regardless of the sad situation of the job losses, they are upbeat about what is coming up, and they expect our hope to get back into space with a commercial spacecraft in 2014, 2015, are relying on the heavy vehicle machine orion
which will take them beyond. and this won't be until 2016 they start, but going into 2025 or 2026 or 2027 area. that is what they are talking about. but of everything that has been done in the 50 years here, the actual highlight of the 166 flights that we have covered, of course, has been theollo"apollo flights and i have on the msnbc.com on the science and technology page an article entitled "no hoax, apollo for real, the highlight for nasa" and we debungt all of the theories saying that the ast astronauts did not do it with the moon, and we do it with the facts. i would like to ask the viewers to go look at that article and take a look at it and read about
nasa's finest moment. tamron. >> we will do it. thank you, jay. appreciate it greatly. still ahead on "newsnation" -- it is a new kind of soda war. beverage makers say they are under attack from anti-obesity campaigns like this one across the country and they are taking legal action and plus some democratic congresswomen accuse allen west of saying that debbie wassermann schultz is not a lady, and west says he is not apologizing, and the latest in the war of words here on "newsnation."
welcome back to "newsnation." pepsi versus coke and sprite versus 7-up and those are a few of the on going battles for the war on soda supremacy, but a different kind of battle today for the companies who produce the sugary drinks and the department of health. the beverage association is mounting a lawsuit against companies claiming that their product can lead to obesity. earlier, new york health department was sued over ads like this one that said that you can drink yourself fat. we are going to show you a similar video, because this one could not feel good to watch. ♪ so, soda makers want to see
documents that prove that these claims about the supposed dangers of their products are real, and they are going to court. i am joined by kevin king, senior vice president with the american beverage association, and kevin, thank you for your time. >> thank you, tamron. how are you? >> i'm great. we have been seeing the ads popping up for a while and conversations about the sew dashgs and the dangers and now the beverage makers say you have to put up some scientific proof here, and why so long to get to this point, because these ads have been getting everywhere? >> well, we have been trying to get the public documents behind the campaigns especially ones that were given to "the new york times" and what prompted the curiosity was a new york times story in october which opened up a window of how new york city health department was manipulating the science and the data to see how extreme and negative a picture they could get away with a waway with in p products and that is a standard set forth in the document
unveiled in the article was the quote, what can we get away with? so we sought the documents through the proper process, and we were denied the documents and that is what the lawsuit is about, trying to seek access to the documents that have frankly been made public and we'd like to see as well. >> let me ask you as well, do you believe that sodaplays any part in the obesity part especially in children? >> no more or less than any caloric food. look, we make some products that have calories in them, and we make no bones about that. but we need to put the calories in context. even using the federal government's own data, all sugar-sweetened beverages and not just soda, but everything with a smidge of sugar accounts for 17% of the calories in the diet, so 93% of the calories from other foods and beverages and other activists and those
making the ads want to assign 100% of the blame to these products, and that is just out of context. >> and are soda makers seeing the bottom line affected by these ads? >> it is -- i wouldn't say that, but it is so much that you are not going to sit there and just take some inaccurate exaggerated attack on the products. you are going to stand up to defend yourself. >> and some information is sales for regular soda have declined 12% from 2000 to 2009. >> right. and that's in large part because our companies are making so many other products now. there are so many more beverage choices, so a lot of those choices are going up, because the consumers are availing of zero calories or small calorie beverages that the companies are making. but that is a valid point, if the soda sales are going down over the decade and the cdc is claiming that the obesity claims are going up, then how can you
say that soda is a driving factor in the obesity, and it seems like a big stretch. >> okay. wow. we will see what happens with the legal action and the debate especially when we look at the numbers for obesity of children and adults in the country, because it is stunning. thank you, kevin, for coming out to tell your side of the story. >> thank for having me. and the fallout of the "news of the world" phone hacking stretching the globe. there are reports that british investigators are looking for potential phone hacking of 31 reporters at 31 different publications. and scotland yard has expanded the investigation to 60 officers, and meanwhile in australia, their government is introducing legislation allowing citizens to sue for serious invasion of privacy. and coming up, alabama followed arizona passing a tougher immigration law to make it against the law to take an illegal immigrant to the
hospital. today a civil rights organization filed a lawsuit to challenge the law. and i will talk to the alabama lawmaker who calls the legislation one of the most awful laws ever passed in the state. and john edwards was just ordered to pay back the government more than $2 million. and find out why british airways gave the duke and dutch ches of cambridge a refund after their flight home. time for the your business entrepreneur of the week. bill and john set out to streamline the bathroom remodeling business. they created bath simple, a bath in a box to treat the bath as a single product. they put the toilet and the tiles and the tiniest screws
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that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. welcome back to "newsnation." standing by his word, congressman allan west refuses to apologize after sending an e-mail to congresswoman debbie wassermann schultz which some are calling disgraceful and harassment. and some say you cannot fix the crisis the same way you budget the household, and we will look at what officials say and match the words to reality. and it is the worst drought in 60 years, and 11 million people are facing a hunger crisis in east africa and we will get the latest from there. today a coalition of civil rights groups asked a federal judge to block alabama's controversial immigration law. the aclu and the southern poverty center and the american immigration center is saying that the law is unconstitutional
and allowing the police to detain people they believe are in this country illegally after a traffic stop and it forces schools to report immigration status, and makes it illegal to knowingly or willingly give shelter to a illegal citizen. first let me read reaction to this lawsuit by mike hubbard who is the president of the alabama senate. he says make no mistake, this lawsuit will not undo alabama's immigration law. if the court finds problems with parts of the law, tweaks can be made, but alabama is not going to allow this. alabama will have a strict immigration law. >> well, they are concerned that there is a possibility that the blacks in the state of alabama and the hispanics in the state of alabama will make a large
voting bloc and perhaps will vote some of the republicans out of office. they are concerned, and it is along racial lines that they are not concerned about whether we have a lot of illegal immigrants here in the state of alabama coming from mexico. >> i have to point out to the audience that you are holding the phone up because we had audio problem, and you highly critical with the law, because there are many out there who say that if the federal government does not doing? about the illegal immigration, you will have this problem state by state and some of the laws considered controversial like alabama, some of the problems that the federal government has not been able to deal with. >> well, the federal government has done some things, and perhaps not as much as they should. notwithstanding whether the federal government has done anything or not, the state of alabama cannot pay for a law that discriminates against
people because of their race or color. this is a bad deal that was passed by the alabama legislature and signed into law by governor bentley. this bill puts burdens on teachers in public schools to make a determination whether a student or the parents of that student are here legally or not, and if not, that student can be, that teacher can be fired. they give the policemen in the state of alabama, and law enforcement people to stop people at will if they have an appearance that they might be illegal and i don't know how a police officer can be riding out on the streets and look at someone and say, well, he looks like he is in the country illegal and therefore i'm going to arrest them. this is a bad law. the law should be repealed. the law has been challenged in the federal courts, and we certainly hope that the federal court will strike down every aspect of this bill. >> democratic state
representative alvin holmes of alabama and we appreciate your hanging in there with us with all of the audio problems and still being able to join us. thank you. >> thank you for having me. a fight between two lawmakers is getting nastier by the day. earlier today, allan west said that an apology to debbie wassermann schultz is quote not happening. five female house democrats are demanding that west apologize for the e-mail to wassermann schultz calling her quote vile and saying she is not aly di a d telling her to quote shut the heck up. they are calling the e-mail equivalent to sexual harassment and kelly o'donnell has more on this feud. >> reporter: a florida feud. two members of the house in a debt limit dual that got personal. congresswoman debbie wassermann schultz who is also the chair of the democratic national committee and a tea party star, congressman allan west, a freshman republic who hit send
on a nasty e-mail to schultz. you are the most vile, unprofessional and despicable person in the house of representatives. here is what set him off, he voted in favor of the republican bill, and then schultz got up and accused him of betraying the sen senors. >> the gentleman from florida who represents thousands of beneficiariess as do i, have voted for this plan which is unbelievable for a representative from florida. >> and he told her to shut the heck up, and he said, you have proven repeatedly, you are not a lady and you are not afforded the due respected to me. and congresswomen accuse him of sexual harassment. >> we are told once again that in order to be a lady we need to just stay in our places. >> in any other employment environment, he would be subject
to a harassment claim for creating a hostile work environment. >> in a statement to msnbc news, his office says that congressman west does not hate women as a husband and father of two daughters. west declined the request and in an interview with fox he says that the liberals want the play victim. she is not a victim and she has been attacking allan west for some time and in that interview the congressman complained off a double standard saying he has been attacked with racially charged words like uncle tom, sellout, and or owe, and he is only one of two house republicans that began a speech this week that a democrat confused him. >> i see the gentleman from sou south carolina. >> i need to correct my colleague that i'm not from south carolina. i am the one with hair.
>> and it is not surprising that he would crack under the pressure. >> reporter: and she makes one more point that florida does not require for congressmen to reside in their districts, but he lives in her district. >> as a constituent of mine. >> he lives in your district? >> he actually lives in my district. >> and to talk more about this is deputy political director mark murray, and it seems that the congresswoman wassermann schultz took the high road in the interview with andrea mitchell yesterday, and this is trending on one african-american blog where they point out that she is jewish and he is black and people are taking from male to female to some kind of race issue, and this is getting potentially toxic here. >> it is, tamron. although i don't see it that way. the way that i'm viewing this whole spat is actually x lly exemplifying the heated rhetoric
of whether congress gets this deficit deal done or not. and allan west is one of the more famous tea party freshmen and on the other hand, you have debbie wassermann schultz, the chairwoman of the national republican committee and one of the top surrogates for the obama administration and a high profile congresswoman from the democratic side from florida. >> and you are looking at it from the political prism, and we saw a lawnbdundry list of women congress who said it was an insult to women, and in one blog they are bringing up race. and while you are looking at it through the debate that is happening, there are others who are incorporating emotional topics when you talk about sexual harassment and race. >> right. in congressman west's e-mail was certainly eyebrow raising for a lot of people particularly when you heard that speech that debbie wassermann schultz actually gave criticizing him that the republicans' plan would
increase cost for medicare recipients, and that is true. democrats have been making that point for four months, but to the point of sex and gender and race that congressman west brought up certainly does it make it where we see into a spot that everyone talks about that it gets out of the political realm and into the realm where it becomes water cooler conversation. >> wow. nbc deputy political director of news, mark murray. thank you. and democrats are equating the budget to equating a family budget, and so now there was one letter that a senator read from a boy scout who says he has a solution to balance the budget. >> in our house, we are careful to only spend what my mom and dad earn. that needs come first and what is left is for wants. many times we were told no when we asked for something. >> "time's" magazine reporter
wrote an article about this, and there was a opoll that said that 66% of americans support the cut, cap and balance bill, and you look at the reality of the family budget and the government and i'm sure that the boy scout is a cutie, but if he were a member of congress that might not be the advice he would give. >> absolutely. but one of the things that is tough to counter about the folksy bits of wisdom is that we have to balance our budget and the government should do it, too, because it has an emotional appeal and sounds sensible, but the federal government is not the same as a family budget, and much more important differences and much more complex and you cannot equate the two. >> also, if you have a family budget, you can save to try to deal with a crisis, but when you are talking about a government pulling back money and holding it creates potentially bigger problems which is what we are
seeing. >> there is a paradox of thrift, and you and i can decide to save and increase finances or pay down the debt, but if everybody does that, then people are out of work because we don't show up to shop. >> and that what some on wall street are doing, they are not making profits and not hiring and that is the reason of the high unemployment rate. and with that said, why are lawmakers and this happens on both sides of the aisle trying to use the folksy metaphor of whipping ow out the checkbook like you do at home. >> well, it is a nice sound bite, but it is wrong. >> and also in the article you say, if you are spending $4,500, you put it in a ratio of the federal government and tell me what you are saying. >> well, if you take the idea that the federal government's budget is like the family budget, then you see that i'm making about $55,000 a year, but i'm spending $41,000 more and at this point if you are a family,
time to sit down the fix it, but the federal government has to do a lot of things and pay unemployment benefits and go the war. we couldn't have won world war ii if we had a cap, cut and balance proposal then. >> well, you take an interesting look at it, and many of the politicians keep equating it to a family budget and you break it down nicely. thank you. thank you. well, our top stories around the nation, the lottery closed a few hours ago, and the new york government started it to allow same-sex marriages, and they will issue 4500 sunday, and winners will be notified tomorrow, and those who don't, they can apply for next week. and project supporters say that the arizona border fence will keep smugglers out of the area. donations to build the border
fence.com range from $500 to $50,000 in if first few hours. and the texas board of education will host a public hearing this afternoon to discuss implementing science materials for the upcoming school year. the board's new leader is a biology leader who disputes the theory of evolution. and the united nations says that the people of kenya and somalia in eastern africa are suffering from the worst famine in a generation and experts blame somalia's civil war of 20 years for turning the drought into a fam line. and some aid agencies say that the need is close to $1 billion. allan is joining us via skype from nairobi, kennia, and thank you for joining us. give us an idea of what you are seeing and reports from the
ground of what is happening there. >> well, i was just in a refugee camp in somalia and there are people coming from the affected areas and people i met walking across the desert. they have very little water. very little food. they are attacked by armed ban dids and hiyenas attacking smal children, and they are making camps from bits of old cloth and twigs from sticks. and, yeah, very short of water and food when they get there. it is really a desperate con dirks and one of the worst situations i have seen here. >> ands a i vint poed out in somalia, the desperation is made more difficult by this civil war that we know is ongoing in somalia, and even al qaeda having a great influence in that
country. how is it that help can come through and be given to those who are most in need when you have this gut-wrenching civil war happening? >> well, the war is definitely going to make it a lot worse and it has prevented people from moving and cut off food supplies and destroyed a lot of the insfinfr infrastructure to help people cope and health care systems. it does make somalia a difficult place to aid, and we have good somali partners working on the ground, and this ri manathey ar managing to get water and food and shelter to people who need them, but we need more money to keep it coming. >> tens of thousands of somalis have died from the drought. as you pointed out, you need money, and is that the ultimate key here? >> it is right now. i mean, people are dying everyday. you know, the camps along the
border and children die everyday and die on the journey, and with money we can provide the basics that people need, the food, the water and the do ultimately need a long term investment to stop this from happening again, and it can be stopped, but right now we need money to save lives. >> that is the heart-breaking point, it can be stopped. all alum, thank you for the live report there. and there is a lot going on today, and here are things that you should know. president obama will award the medal of honor to a marine who ran into a field of fire to rescue members of his team. he made four trips in to rescue his team in a battle with the
taliban. and john edwards owes the federal government a lot of money. an audit found that his presidential campaign owes $2.1 million in matching funds that it was not entitled to receive. and the campaign owes another $140,000 on what is called a data check. and in an unrelated event, he was indicted for using campaign money to hide his pregnant mistress. and michelle obama is taking part in an "extreme makeover" edition. the episode features a 15-year navy vet who is trying to put an end to homelessness among women veterans, and the makeover team will build a home that can house several families at a time, and those are the things that we thought you should know.
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zip-a-dee-doo-dah zippity day. republicans are appearing not to agree on anything. do they need another late night beer and pizza party to get it done. and why are politicians asked about where they send their kids to school? the duke and duchess of cambridge were given a reimbursement from british airways. they were paid $300 by british airways in compensation for the in flight entertainment breaking down. they paid over $14,000 for the first-class tickets, and the couple reportedly pleased by the gesture. and the court summoned by many of the "happy days" cast, and comic-kron, it is not about comic books anymore. we get a update from courtney hazlett. >> let's start with "happy days" and we brought you the story in
april where many of the cast members were talking about marion ross, and anson williams and donny most and erin williams who believed that they were owed money for dolls in their likeness. they were seeking $10 million in damages and interesting uptake to the story, they have received checks from cbs to the tune of $6,000. $6,000 to $6,500 and i communicated with the attorney for these people and he said, listen, we got the checks and we have not cashed them and we have no intention to cash them, because this seems like a publicity stunt for cbs so they can say, listen we paid you something. in other words, they are still going to pursue this. it doesn't mean that case closed by any means. we are talking about a lot of money in many, many years of el low-ball, and even if the you
argue that the contracts weren't, and this sort of thing wasn't disclosed at the sim, it is come on, do the right thing is what you want to think about it. kim kardashian versus old navy. >> it is something that you would not think we would be talking about this time last week. there is a commercial for old navy and we have a little bit of it, but it features a kim kardashian look alike. >> they don't call her that and they are careful about that. >> but anyone who has seen kim kardashian will call this woman a kim kardashian look alike, and kim kardashian is suing old navy because this is her likeness and this person so clearly looks like kim kardashian that even though kim is selective in the brands she endorses, and be clear, she endorses at love obra -- a lot of brands and she says that old navy will profit to the like innocence t
like innocence tness in the com >> is there a reggie bush connection here? >> well, the actress in the commercial is dating reggie bush which is another layer and exactly. >> and comic-con is hugely popular and i learned about this on entourage. >> well, it is under way right now in san diego. it is not just about comics for a lot of people who are not aware, but it is pop culture and what is coming upment some of the interesting things discussed is terranova and exciting television show coming up this fall. we have been talking about it for over a year. it was teased to start last fall and it is the steven spielberg conception, and you will see hints of ""jurassic park" there, and also you will hear star wars kinect which will be hugely popular this year.
>> and people are tweeting about -- >> well, we have to wrap up in the year, but something about crisscross. those kids. it is a question, and i can't answer it. >> all right. for the very latest and entertaining news and crisscross updates go to the scoop.today.com. ughest roads. ♪ [ tires screeching ] ♪ if it can survive this drive... ♪ it can survive yours. the nissan altima. innovation that lasts. innovation for all. ♪ that's not how successful investing is done. at e-trade it's harnessing some of the most powerful yet easy to use trading tools on the planet to help diversify, identify opportunities, take action.
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time now for today's "newsnation" gut check. two 14-year-old boys in nj nng must register as sex offenders, a status they will hold for the rest of their lives after holding down schoolmates and sitting on the face with bare bottoms. each were charged with criminal contact by a panel of judges who decided that the sexual predator law known as meghan's law applied to the case that some are calling a horse play amongst teenagers. meghan's law was enacted in honor of the 7-year-old who was sexually assaulted and murdered
by the neighbor, and then had been previously convicted of previous sex crimes. the boys say they were horsing around and thought it was quote, funny, and wanted to make their friends laugh. no one is laughing now. what does your gut tell you? is the punishment against the two 14-year-old boys too harsh? go to msnbc.com to cast your vote. that does it for this edition of "newsnation." richard lui is in for martin bashir.
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